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SC may consider a three-month extension to SEBI for concluding its enquiry in the Hindenburg research report

The Mauritian Financial Services Commission has said it has not found any breach of law by the 38 companies and 11 funds linked to the Adani Group, the minister added

The Supreme Court said on Friday it may consider granting three more months to SEBI for concluding its enquiry proceedings in the Hindenburg research report on the Adani Group of companies.

Notably, on March 2, the Supreme Court directed market regulator SEBI to complete its enquiry proceedings in 2 months and submit the status report in a sealed envelope before the court within the stipulated time frame.

On Friday, the apex court told SEBI’s attorney general, Tushar Mehta, during the hearing that it can only give the market regulator three months rather than the six it had requested to complete its investigation into allegations of stock manipulation levelled in the Hindenburg research report on the Adani Group of companies.

A bench of Chief Justices DY Chandrachud and Justices PS Narasimha and JB Pardiwala said the court registry has received the report of the apex court-appointed Justice (retd) AM Sapre committee on the issue and that the panel would like to hear the case on Monday after reviewing its findings.

“We will go through the report in the meantime. We will take up the matter on May 15,” the bench said.

Mauritius minister calls shell company allegation “baseless”

Meanwhile, the Congress party is in for a rude shock as the Mauritian Financial Services Minister Mahen Kumar Seeruttun has refuted claims that the Adani Group’s Shell companies are present in Mauritius.

The Congress party has been for the last few months attacking the Indian conglomerate Adani Group after US-based activist investor group Hindenburg Research published a 32,000-word report in which it accused Adani family members of creating and managing “a vast labyrinth of offshore shell entities” in tax havens like Mauritius, Cyprus, and the UAE. 

Seeruttun has told the island nation’s parliament that there is no shell company in Mauritius and that the Hindenburg allegations are “false and baseless”.

The Mauritian Financial Services Commission has said it has not found any breach of law by the 38 companies and 11 funds linked to the Adani Group, the minister added. Mauritian Financial Services Commission is equivalent to the capital markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi).

The legislator stated in his address that foreign corporations such as Shell are not permitted in Mauritius and must adhere to the legal guidelines established by the Mauritian government.

“At the outset, I wish to inform the House that the allegations of the presence of Shell companies in Mauritius are false and baseless. According to law, Shell Companies are not allowed in Mauritius or global business companies licensed by the Financial services providers have to meet substance requirements as per section 21 of the financial service activities,” he added.

Congress attacks Adani Group over the Hindenburg report

Ever since the US-based activist investor group Hindenburg Research published a 32,000-word report against the Indian conglomerate Adani Group, Congress has been using it to gain political mileage.

Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has repeatedly trotted out ‘Adani and Ambani’ jibes to attack the current dispensation even as Congress-ruled state governments have generously indulged the businessmen. 

The investment research firm claimed that Adani Group was involved in a “brazen stock manipulation and accounting fraud scheme over the course of decades.”

Hindenburg Research claimed that it has conducted an investigation on the company for the last two years and that it has documents to prove its claims. Hindenburg Research Report accused Adani family members of creating and managing “a vast labyrinth of offshore shell entities” in tax havens like Mauritius, Cyprus, and the UAE. The report claimed that some of these entities were used for market manipulation.

It said Gautam Adani has a net worth of approximately $120 billion, mainly due to an 819% average stock price growth in the group’s seven most significant publicly traded companies over the last three years.

Adani Group slams Hindenburg Research report

On Wednesday (January 25), the Adani Group trashed the Hindenburg Research report as a ‘malicious combination of selective misinformation and stale, baseless and discredited allegations’.

The Group stocks lost Rs 46,000 crores in market cap after Hindenburg claimed that the Indian giant had participated in a clear stock manipulation and accounting fraud scheme over decades.

While the Congress party is now using the controversial report to indirectly take potshots at the BJP, it has been at the helm of supporting the very industrialist it had been accusing of crony capitalism.

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